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Why the U.S. Military Should Stay Out Of Iran

Posted by Maj. Danny Sjursen on

It’s not that often that a major in the US military — albeit now a reservist — points the finger at the Defense Secretary and says, sir, you’re wrong, and does it in writing and in public. Here you have it. Army Maj. Danny Sjursen, expressing his own unofficial opinions, says Iran is Jim Mattis’… Keep reading →

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Military Force Structure: Trade-Offs, Trade-Offs, Trade-Offs

Posted by Mark Cancian on

Mark Cancian, a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors, knows budgets. He used to help build the defense budget at the Office of Management and Budget, the largely unheralded center of federal fiscal power. So when he picks apart the budget deal Congress recently approved (or any other one) you should pay attention. He’s doing… Keep reading →

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Clash of Strategies: Capability Or Capacity, Today Or Tomorrow?

Posted by Mark Cancian on

As the Pentagon finishes its strategic review, the stage is set for another struggle over whether to ready for a high-end war with Russia or China or just manage the current, much lower intensity battles around the world. In military terms it’s a choice between capability and capacity. The outcome will shape the four services… Keep reading →

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House, Senate Only 0.6% Apart On Defense Budget: $704B vs. $708B

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. graphic from HASC & SASC data

WASHINGTON: Despite reported differences, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees propose almost identical toplines for national security spending. In an apples to apples comparison, after correcting for discrepancies in what the two committees count, HASC’s total is $704 billion, SASC’s is $708. That’s a difference of just 0.6 percent, presenting a strong united front… Keep reading →

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Trump’s 2018 DoD Budget Stresses RDTE, Rebuilding

Posted by Sandra Erwin on

President Trump’s just-released 2018 budget proposal meets the goals set by Secretary Jim Mattis when he came into office, the Pentagon insists, even though the budget does not deliver the impressive defense growth the president promised. Instead, it will, the administration says, be enough to patch up a “depleted” military that needs to be brought back to health after… Keep reading →

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US Must Counter Putin, Push NATO To Rearm

Posted by Eric Edelman on

The United States — preoccupied with the wars of the Middle East and a pivot to Asia — has largely left the global playing field to Russian President Putin and must now lead NATO by forging a new consensus on the Russian threat and investing in new weapons. The correlation of forces in the European theater has arguably… Keep reading →

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How To Strengthen Alliances On President Trump’s Watch

Posted by Michael Krepon on

America’s Asian allies have been unnerved by President Donald Trump’s dismissive rhetoric about alliances based on cost/benefit grounds, and his decision to dump the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. That’s part of the reason Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled in Asia to calm nerves in Tokyo and Seoul. America’s European allies are also deeply unsettled by Trump’s… Keep reading →

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Two Cheers for OCO: Grease For Budget Wheels

Posted by Mark Cancian on

The verdict from think tanks and commentators is in: Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), the much-criticized war funding account, should move to the base budget because of abuses and a lack of transparency. As a matter of theory, such a move would be good government. OCO deflects hard choices and distorts the budget process. In the… Keep reading →

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NDAA For Xmas, Says HASC Ranking Smith; Off Flies Sage Grouse!

Posted by Colin Clark on

Those whose lives are bound to the fate of the annual defense policy bill can rest easy for a while, but then must gird their loins for a tough patch right before Christmas, if Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is right. Smith, a savvy and rational lawmaker, offered no… Keep reading →

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How To Secure NATO’s Frontline States

Posted by Mark Gunzinger on

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, it may be time for NATO to adopt a new AirLand Battle-like concept to help guide its plans and capability priorities to counter the growing threat of Russia. This concept could take advantage of high-capacity air and missile defense systems and a new generation of long-range precision… Keep reading →

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